Medical financial hardship among cancer survivors in the United States

Cancer May 02, 2019

Zheng Z, et al. - Using the National Health Interview Survey (2013-2016), researchers examined cancer survivors and individuals without a cancer history in the United States in order to determine medical financial hardship, which were classified into 3 domains: material (eg, problems paying medical bills), psychological (eg, worrying about paying medical bills), and behavioral (eg, delaying/forgoing care due to cost). They found that younger cancer survivors may be particularly vulnerable to material, psychological, and behavioral medical financial hardship. Among privately insured survivors, greater hardship was observed in relation to having a high-deductible health plan without a health savings account vs having low-deductible insurance. Considering multiple domains of hardship as well as insurance benefit design was recommended while developing interventions meant to attenuate financial hardship.

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